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Feds explain why Project Forseti informant ousted from witness protection

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WATCH ABOVE: Former Project Forseti informant seeking damages from the federal government – Aug 28, 2019

Drug use and repeated visits to a strip club are among the reasons why Project Forseti informant Noel Harder was kicked out of the Witness Protection Program (WPP), according to a statement of defence.

The document, filed in April on behalf of the attorney general of Canada, lists other “material contraventions of his obligations,” including failing to answer phone calls and texts, multiple assaults and repeated instances in which Harder compromised his identity and location.

READ MORE: Former police informant Noel Harder denied bail on drug and weapons charges

Once the vice-president of the Fallen Saints Motorcycle Club, Harder became a police informant in 2014. In its statement, the federal government said the Fallen Saints group was formed “in collusion with and under the guidance of the Saskatoon Hells Angels.”

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Harder’s testimony was central to Project Forseti — one of the biggest drug take-downs in Saskatchewan history. Police recovered $8 million worth of drugs, hundreds of and guns while laying the groundwork for 20 convictions.

Harder and his family went into emergency protection — a precursor to the WPP — a day before Saskatoon police raids on Jan. 14, 2015.

To formally join the WPP, Harder needed to pay off a debt to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) resulting from drug trafficking activity. Eventually, the RCMP paid $72,000 on Harder’s behalf to the CRA.

The RCMP declined comment, citing the ongoing civil court case.

In November 2017, Harder went to a strip club that was a “known hangout for criminals,” the government said.

“Harder continued to attend to the strip club despite being warned not to,” the court document reads.

The following February, he was involved in an altercation at the club and his real name was mentioned, according to the government.

READ MORE: Project Forseti informant says Hells Angels want him dead

Harder was kicked out of the WPP on May 2, 2018.

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The statement of defence was filed in response to a lawsuit Harder launched in March 2018. His lawyer argues officials put Harder in danger, failed to manage his family’s assets and did not make negotiated payments.

According to the government, Harder received an award of $150,000 at the conclusion of Project Forseti and $75,000 at the conclusion of the preliminary inquiries. As of April, another $75,000 was pending the conclusion of all trials and appeal periods.

During the WPP process, Harder’s suit claims that he and his wife didn’t receive adequate medical treatment because of identity issues. They were unable to build credit and buy a home or enroll their children in school for over 530 days, according to the statement of claim.

The allegations in the statements of claim and defence haven’t been tested in court. No court dates are scheduled.

In September 2018, Saskatoon police arrested Harder, laying 26 drug and weapons-related charges against him. He’s since been denied bail, and his next court date is scheduled for Friday.

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